A new survey suggests the Western Arctic Caribou Herd is smaller than previously thought; it may impact the decision on whether to change hunting restrictions in Unit 23.
“I am addressing my way of life,” subsistence hunter Walter Sampson said at last week’s meeting in Kotzebue, wary of sport caribou hunters being allowed back into Unit 23.
The Federal Subsistence Board has closed Unit 23 to outside hunters this fall, but the yearlong ban hasn’t cleared up the controversy or confusion surrounding the hunt.
Last week, the Federal Subsistence Board voted to close Unit 23 to all but local caribou hunters. The closure will last for one year.
Caribou users in the Northwest Arctic Borough were told Wednesday that North America’s largest herd declined by more than a quarter in just two years.